These are the best fudgy chocolate crinkle cookies, also known as brownie cookies. These cookies are soft and chewy, perfectly fudgy with a slight crust – just like a brownie should be! A classic Christmas cookie that really should be made all year round.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are so easy to make, you absolutely DO NOT need a cake mix! Everything is so much better with just a few staple ingredients like flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Things you should be having in the first place. These basic ingredients can turn into so many different recipes, and where’s the fun in a cake box!
You will feel so much more accomplished by making it yourself, and bonus – you can brag about it. No one will know how incredibly easy it really was. Unless they ask for the recipe, which I’m pretty sure every chocolate lover will.
Why are my chocolate crinkle cookies flat?
There are two (to three) main reasons why your chocolate crinkle cookies turn out flat. This can apply to any kind of cookie, it’s cookie science.
1. You used butter in the batter.
I knooow, I’m a sucker for everything with butter. My classic brownies recipe does have butter, but cookies are a little different. The problem with butter is that it melts. It melts at a much lower temperature than oil, which can lead to cookies spreading. Another problem with butter is that if your butter was too cold, you need to cream the sugar and butter for longer, creating air in the batter. Too much air will make them rise – then fall – and spread in the oven.
This does not mean you can’t use butter in any cookie recipe. In fact, I actually normally use butter in cookie recipes. These Soft and Chewy Eggnog Cookies, Snickerdoodle Cookies and Norwegian Christmas Men Cookies all use butter. The clue is room temperature butter, which means you can make a small indent in the butter when pressing your finger in it. This way you cream the sugar and butter faster, avoiding all that air.
But as a safe bet, oil is easier to work with in the cookie department!
2. You didn’t chill the dough for long enough.
The most boring part about making cookies is all that chill time. But it really does make a difference! I recommend chilling this chocolate crinkle cookie dough for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best (flavorwise). The dough will be properly chilled and 1. they’re easier to roll and 2. the fat are colder and solidified when coming into your oven, taking them longer to melt. Now the outside of your cookies will be done before the insides get the time to melt, which will lead to a fudgier and taller cookie.
You can get away with refrigerating cookie dough for 30 minutes. But if they turn out flat, that may be a reason for the spreading. If you chill the dough for longer, the flavors will incorporate, making it a deeper flavor as well – so there’s a bonus!
3. Baking at too high temperature.
You could also be using a too high temperature when baking the cookies, making the fat melt quicker. Cookies are usually baked at a temperature between 325F (160C) and 375F (190C), making 350F (180C) the perfect medium.
- 325: Softer, chewier cookies because they take longer to bake.
- 350: Cookies bake evenly, insides are done at the same time as the outside.
- 375: Crispy edges with an extra fudgy inside. Can feel slightly underdone on the inside.
There are other reasons for why your cookies may spread as well, and you can read more about them here, although these are the most common.
Can chocolate crinkle cookies be frozen?
Both yes and no. If I were to freeze finished crinkle cookies, the powdered sugar can clump and form an unappealing coating on your cookies. And chocolate crinkle cookies are all about those perfectly white crinkles, right!
The best way to freeze chocolate crinkle cookies is to roll the cookie balls, do not cover them in powdered sugar, and freeze them on a baking tray. Freeze until they are solid, before transferring them to an airtight freezer friendly bag. Remember to write on the bag what kind of cookies, what time you froze them and how to bake them!
When you are ready to take them out of the freezer, simply cover them in powdered sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let them rest at room temperature while you pre-heat the oven. You may need to add 1-2 minutes extra on the baking time but the same temperature (350F).
This post has a lot of interesting mistakes to avoid when freezing cookies and cookie dough.
Quick about the recipe
We have now troubleshooted what can go wrong in making cookies, and so I hope you will get the perfect cookies every time in the future. And I hope you have forgotten all about box cake mixes, we make better cookies so we don’t need those right.
Here’s some step by step photos of the super easy process:
- Cream together oil and sugar.
- Add eggs and vanilla.
- Mix some more.
- Add the dry ingredients in smaller batches, mix in-between.
- Chill batter/dough for at least 2 hours.
- Roll into small balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Roll in powdered sugar.
- Bake at 350F (180C) for 10 minutes, rest on tray before transferring to cooling rack.
If you need more Christmas cookies inspirations, here’s 25 Jolly Christmas Cookies.
Did you like this recipe? Here’s more delicious cookies recipes:
- Norwegian Christmas Men Cookies
- Norwegian Gingerbread Cookies
- Vixen’s Soft and Chewy Eggnog Cookies with Creamy Maple Frosting
- Easy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Easy Christmas Chocolate Rice Puffs (No bake!)
- Banana Snickerdoodle Cookies
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- 2 cups flour, 240g*
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 120g
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 160g
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar, 300g
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 50g, for coating
- Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the oil and sugar for 1 minute (handheld mixer is fine). Add eggs and vanilla, mix some more.
- Add in the dry ingredients at intervals and mix in between each batch.
- Cover the bowl and chill at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). And prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll 1 tbsp of dough into a ball and cover generously with powdered sugar. Add to baking tray with 2 inches between each cookie ball.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes**, chill 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack.
* I ALWAYS recommend using a kitchen scale when baking, this will ensure great results with more accuracy each time.
** Time will vary depending a little on your oven. The cookies are done when they crinkle and have a slight crisp around the edges. They need to rest on the baking tray for 5 minutes to firm up.
Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Make ahead tip: Freeze the dough balls, not covered in powdered sugar, on a baking tray until solid. Then transfer them to a freezer friendly bag. They will keep well for 3 months in the freezer. Add 1-2 minutes extra to the baking time.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 50 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 3.8gSaturated Fat: 0.9gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 12.3gFiber: 0.9gProtein: 1.3g